How to Benefit from Employee Incentives

November 12, 2013
How to Benefit from Employee Incentives
Incentives really do have an impact on your business’ profitability and success. We like to think that offering incentives isn’t necessary and that our team members perform at their highest without them; but the cold hard fact is that employee incentives do directly affect performance.
It just comes down to human nature. The key with incentives is finding the right balance. Employees will compare an incentive’s required effort against its perceived value. So if you’re offering cheap incentives or setting the demands too high; people won’t bother trying to attain it. So choose incentives with higher values that offer indulgence or gain peer attention and you can also ask for more in return.
Incentives motivate and engage employees and in particular those who seem to have a below average drive to succeed. Some immediate benefits that come from offering employee incentives include:
  • Increased profits
  • Higher sales volumes
  • Greater customer/employee loyalty
  • Increased productivity

All about incentives—a quick vocabulary lesson.

Incentives are simple. It’s all about offering something desired and valuable in exchange for better performance or improved outcomes. They work particularly well to achieve tangible results such as increased sales volumes and other performance based tasks.
There are a lot of buzzwords out there today in the world of employee recognition and employee incentives, so take a look at this quick guide to get a clear picture:
Award: An award is something given for acclamation of a great performance. These can be plaques, corporate rings, insignia, trophies or bonuses to name a few. If you engage in sales contests the payout would also be considered an award. It’s the prize!
Employee Engagement: this is all about people buying into their workplace and what is done there. If your employees don’t believe in what your company provides or produces employee engagement will be low. Poor work conditions and management can also disengage employees. It is a sense of purpose and value in the daily and long term goals.
Incentive: An incentive can be tangible or perceived. Basically it is anything tied to driving employee performance. Incentives include awards, rewards and employee recognition.
Reward: Something given in exchange for meeting a pre-determined goal.
Recognition: Communicating appreciation for an individual or team accomplishment. Recognition can come in many forms including tangible or intangible.
Recognition Program: A recognition program is a well-planned strategy for ensuring that achievements of pre-set goals don’t go unnoticed. It is a way to motivate and encourage your entire team, as well as to build and foster a great corporate atmosphere. Recognition can be for milestones, achievements, anniversaries or things like attendance and performance.

Get the most from your incentive efforts.

To benefit from offering employee incentives it’s important to first establish some goals and desired outcomes; to nail down your best-case-possible scenario. If you have no idea how you want to impact your business performance, it will be really hard to tell if you’re just spending money or if the incentive is having the desired effect.
Some of the most common reasons that businesses turn to incentives are to increase sales, to impact employee engagement and motivation, to change certain behaviours, to foster a culture change or to boost positive behaviours. An incentive really can be used to push any outcome desired. The secret lies in knowing what you want to achieve, and knowing what your employees would find valuable as an incentive.
And lastly, talk to your employees, ask them what they want! Don’t be secretive or sly about incentives…approach and implement them in a very open and straightforward manner. We can help! Call Williams today to learn more about employee incentives.
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